Totems senior boys win first round on road to provincials

The Aldergrove Totems Senior Boys rugby squad traveled to Kamloops this past weekend to square off with Kalamalka.

Despite some tired eyes due to late night grad festivities, the boys were up for the battle. As asked by coaches, the opening kick by Connor Hunter saw Kick Waterman and Jordan Nickel gang tackle the receiver and win the ball back.

The forwards maintained control of the ball and tramped down the field which allowed Connor Hunter to slot a penalty kick right down the pipes. The back line some found some time and space to execute some excellent line running by centres Doug Saunders and Ryan Swann.

Doug Saunders went for a vicious run right up the centre and the Kalamalka defence could not contain him, putting the Totems up 10 with Hunter’s conversion.

Josh Kwiatkowski played his usual aggressive game and earned the “crunch” award for relentless defence.

Into the second half the boys found themselves with a penalty that they decided to run their set play on. Josh Kwiatkowski ran with great pace and Kurtis Winder created the fast ball for the backs. Connor Hunter put up a perfect cross field kick which Cody Nicholls recovered nicely. A quick ruck and Will Foss was diving over the line for a perfectly executed try.

Austin Desouza did some hard work in the front row to earn the Totems some valuable ground and set them moving forward. Nick Hardwick ran the ball hard up the wing with immediate support from forwards Mike Head and Henri Donath.

With some quick feet and impressive ball movement the Totems put their captain, Connor Hunter, over the line for the final try of the match. The Totems got in position for one last penalty kick by Hunter and then weathered a final push from Kalamalka for a final score of 23-5.

Try of the day went to Doug Saunders and Man of the Match went to scrumhalf Jason Esbensen for excellent control of the forwards and some great defensive technique.

With this first round win Aldergrove secures a spot in the top-8 in the province. The provincial matches will take place over three days at Exhibition Park in Abbotsford. The first was Wednesday, and then Thursday at 11 a.m. and final game, including the AA and AAA finals, on Saturday, June 4.